DC Puts No Date on Reopening as Maryland, Virginia Inch Closer

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As the governors of Maryland and Virginia move toward gradually reopening the states’ economies, Washington, D.C., will stay closed in preparation for an expected surge in coronavirus cases, the mayor said. 

Mayor Muriel Bowser said the stay-at-home order will remain in effect through at least May 15 as case counts continue to climb and community transmission of the virus continues. 

“We know that opening up and people mixing in various ways is going to lead to increased infections,” she said Wednesday in response to questions about Maryland and Virginia

Maryland is on track to begin reopening next week as hospitalizations and numbers of virus patients in intensive care drop, Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday. Under Stage 1, Maryland will lift the stay-at-home order and allow some businesses to reopen. State parks and beaches are back open Thursday, and activities including golf, camping and fishing can resume. 

Maryland has lifted restrictions on tennis, golf and other outdoor activities, but counties still have the final say. News4's Jackie Bensen reports.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said earlier this week that he expects to be able to allow some businesses to reopen on May 15. The restrictions may stay in place longer in Northern Virginia and other parts of the state that are harder-hit, he said Wednesday. 

Virginia will allow local governments to reopen with tougher restrictions for a while longer if necessary. News4's Erika Gonzalez reports.


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Here’s where we are Thursday in the fight against coronavirus in the D.C. area. 

More than 54,000 people across the region have been confirmed to have the virus. At least 2,368 people have died. Go here to see the data in detail.

Hospitals in the D.C. area are preparing for hospitalizations due to the virus to peak soon. 

“We continue to see a significant number of critically ill patients,” said Dr. Lisa Boyle of Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. 

The D.C. health department said Wednesday that they expected cases to peak between June 28 and July 1. 

Hospitals are ramping up efforts to prepare for a projected peak in COVID-19 patients at the end of June. News4's Doreen Gentzler reports.

As Congress returns to Washington, the union that represents U.S. Capitol Police officers reports that at least 14 officers have tested positive for the virus. The officers were isolated to reduce the risk of spread.

As Congress returns to Washington, the union that represents U.S. Capitol Police officers reports at least 12 officers tested positive for the coronavirus. Scott MacFarlane reports.

A nurse who worked at a care facility in Alexandria where there is a coronavirus outbreak died of the virus, and her family says they believe a lack of information may have contributed to her falling ill. Nina Forbes “was concerned the PPE wasn’t enough. She was concerned about the new residents that were coming in after the lockdown, and why that was even allowed to happen," her daughter said. 

Families with loved ones at an Alexandria memory care center are pushing for more information about an outbreak at that facility. The concern is only growing after a nurse died there. Northern Virginia bureau chief Julie Carey talked with the nurse’s daughters who think a lack of information might have contributed to her contracting coronavirus.

And now something uplifting: A Virginia doctor concerned about the mental health of communities of color that are hard-hit by the virus is offering free mental health care sessions for young people in Northern Virginia

“We ourselves can provide the care through our network of people we already know who are culturally competent, who are invested in the needs and treatment of kids of color," Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble said. 

African-Americans have been hard hit by coronavirus, but the impact isn't just physical. Health experts are also worried about the mental toll on communities of color. News4's Cory Smith reports some organizations are now teaming up to provide free help.

Neither D.C.’s mayor nor the governors of Maryland or Virginia are scheduled to address the public on Thursday. 

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